They likely will get their wish this spring.
The five city council races are contested, the mayoral race is contested, and two of the races have enough candidates to require a primary.
The general election is April 6. The primary is Feb. 16.
Incumbent Mayor Bill Chesen is not seeking re-election. He said problems persist even after he and the four council members he accused of violations reached an agreement in late November.
“The city council is very divided, and I’m clearly not the one that’s ever going to bring them together because of all the back-door nonsense that goes on,” he said. “It’s obvious this problem isn’t going to go away, even if I do, and the best thing for me to do was step out of the way … ”
Three candidates have emerged in the race for mayor: Jim Connors, 320 Oakwood Lane, who led a citizens group against the proposed Mirbeau-Hummel development; Scott Storms, 750 Heather Circle, president of the police and fire commission; and Alderman Frank Marsala, 1823 Conant St., who also is seeking re-election to his 4th District seat. This race will require a primary.
Both Connors and Storms believe they have leadership experience that would help them work together with the city council.
“I think we’ve been somewhat lacking in leadership,” Connors said. “The mayor is supposed to work with the council; he’s not meant to be the supreme decision maker.”
“It’s been a long time since the city has had a professional manager and mayor,” Storms said. “I know how to, instead of make enemies, make friends.”
Marsala said he was urged by friends and residents to run for mayor.
“I have a good overview of the city and its operations, and I have some really good management and people skills,” he said. “I think I could put all that together as mayor and do good service to the community.”
Krause, 1112 Wisconsin St., and Condos, 1760 Hillcrest Drive, will face off for the two-year term.
Krause could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Condos said the city must focus on the issues.
“They can’t keep using each other to fight each other and using taxpayer money to do it,” he said. “It’s a bunch of nonsense. We need to move forward and stick to the issues.”
Newcomer Bill Cousino Jr., 302 Maxwell St., faces Ellyn Kehoe, 222 Warren St., for the one-year term.
Cousino said he brings a new perspective to city government.
“There seems to be too much of the old,” he said. “We should be putting the past behind us, not dredging it up. We have a lot of issues, a lot of things to take care of. … I don’t want to be sitting on the bench anymore.”
Kehoe said she is staying true to her word that she would run for the seat and allow voters to choose their representative.
Roehrer, Hartke and Hartz could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Kupsik said he had not planned on running, but changed his mind after few others seemed interested.
“This past year has been somewhat of a nightmare,” he said. “And now we need to get things back to normal and concentrate on all the things we worked so hard on over the years.”
Mott previously told the Gazette he intended to run for the seat because he would “just be getting (his) feet wet” by the time the term expires in April.
Esposito, who led a campaign to end the legal battle between the mayor and the four council members the mayor accused of violations, said she felt obligated to run for office. She hopes a few new council members can help put the city back on track.
“We are on the wrong path. I don’t know what right path is, and I don’t know how to change it, but maybe new individuals with new thoughts will help turn things around,” she said.
Marsala said he would be happy to serve in either position to which he is elected.
“I’ll let the people guide me into which place they want me to serve,” he said.
O’Neill said he started paying attention to city government this fall as the battle between the mayor and the city council raged. He said is running to restore order.
“I have nothing to gain by being an alderman except a better city government,” he said. “The city council has been a rubber stamp of the mayor. It’s time to put control of the city back in the hands of the council.”
Other races in Walworth County cities, villages and school districts include:
Incumbents seeking re-election and running unopposed are Rick Stacey in District 1, Jerry Grant in District 4, Kathy Ingersoll in District 6, David Weber in District 7, Daniel Kilkenny in District 8, Randy Hawkins in District 10 and Nancy Russell in District 11.
District 2 incumbent Joseph Schaefer is facing a challenge from Roy Lightfield.
District 5 incumbent Claudia Holst is opposed by Carl Redenius.
Newcomers running unopposed are Russ Wardle and Richard Brandl, who are seeking the seats left open by incumbents Mark Bromley, District 3, and Jim Van Dreser, District 9, who are not seeking re-election.
Danz and Letteney are yet to file statements of economic interest due Friday.
District 4 incumbent Lynn Binnie, 1315 Satinwood Lane, Whitewater, is seeking re-election. No challengers filed.
Council member at-large incumbent James Stewart, 745 W. Center St., Whitewater, is seeking re-election. No challengers filed.